Protect Yourself With Strong Passwords

passwordWith data breaches becoming routine in recent months, the potential for additional breaches in the future is strong. Companies like Target, Staples, and others have experienced data breaches exposing customer data to hackers. Some of those instances provided a great deal of personal information to the parties stealing the data, subjecting them to personal losses. However, in many other cases, individuals with strong passwords were less likely to suffer financial losses. Industry experts routinely recommend using strong passwords and having unique passwords protecting every account. The question then becomes what makes a good password and how can passwords be made safer? There are a few tips that are always recommended.

1. Never use the same password for multiple accounts.

A large percentage of computer users continues to use a single password for every online account. If that password is discovered, all other accounts become vulnerable. Even when the password is modified for other accounts, hackers quickly identify the variations, opening the account owner to considerable losses.

2. Passwords must be complex.

That generally means a combination of letters, numbers and symbols should be employed to make it more difficult for any unauthorized person to discover the password. Stronger passwords not only use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, but are also long. For maximum protection, passwords should be 12 characters long. That, however, creates another problem. How is anyone supposed to remember multiple unique passwords with each one being 12 characters long?

3. Use a password manager to keep track of all passwords.

No one is going to remember a long list of complex passwords, and writing them down or keeping them next to the computer isn’t recommended. However, if a password manager is used, only one strong password has to be remembered. Popular password managers like iPassword or LastPass are often recommended for users who want maximum protection but are never going to remember a long list of complex passwords. While there is a possibility of those sites being hacked, using a strong master password will virtually eliminate risks for users.

In the not-to-distant future, it is likely passwords will be replaced as a security precaution but, for now, strong passwords for every account are the best protection for computer users. For those who want maximum protection, a password manager is currently the best alternative to memorizing a long list of unique passwords.

About the Author

Roger Feinstein has grown up with computers his entire life and strives to help others understand what goes on behind the scenes in their PCs. He's been writing tech articles for websites for over 5 years.

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